Minnesota United FC’s Matt Lampson is the 2018 MLS WORK Humanitarian of the Year, the league announced Thursday. The Hilliard, Ohio, native is the first MNUFC player to win an end-of-season award and the first player in league history to win the award a second time. He previously won in 2016 as a member of the Chicago Fire.
A combination of players, technical staff members and media voted Lampson Humanitarian of the Year over finalists Wil Trapp of Columbus and the New York Red Bulls’ Luis Robles.
A survivor of Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Lampson created his own charitable non-profit — the LampStrong Foundation — in 2014 to provide financial and emotional support to cancer patients and their families. The foundation’s programming includes awarding grants to cancer research groups, to support families of cancer patients in treatment and for activities, nutrition and personal training for cancer patients.
“When I began working with cancer patients and families in 2013, I never would have dreamed of receiving this honor once, let alone for a second time,” Lampson said in a statement released by the league. “All I have ever tried to do is inspire and instill hope in all cancer patients to use their second chance at life to truly make a difference. I want everyone to understand and recognize how precious every day is and live with a greater appreciation of life. I have been able to reach so many lives through the help of not only Minnesota United, but nearly every other team across the league.”
As it did in 2016, MLS will make a $5,000 donation to the LampStrong Foundation in recognition of Lampson’s efforts.
Lampson’s national recognition comes days after an MNUFC supporters group, the Dark Clouds, named the goal keeper its 2018 Humanitarian of the Year.
“Thank you to not only Minnesota United, but to my teammates, the front office and, most importantly, the fans, for being so supportive and impactful in my mission. This award is well deserved for such an amazing city,” added Lampson. “I will continue to do everything in my power to reach as many patients and families as possible. This award is for every single person that has conquered cancer and has earned a second chance at life. This award is for every family member that has known the struggle and been the strength for those that are in the battle. This award is for my parents and my siblings, whom I would never have been able to defeat cancer without.”
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— Dark Clouds ☁ #DCMN (@MNDarkClouds) November 6, 2018